Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Movember: Day 30: Mover and Out

30 motastic days are now up. The picture above is the last of my moustache in all its dubious glory.

Moing, mowing....A tribute to Charlie Chaplin (a style also adopted by some other less talented fella).

...gone. The first time in 30 days my face has been clean-shaven. I feel naked without my mouzer.

Thanks to all who have donated and helped me raise almost £500 for prostate cancer research. It's not too late to donate, just follow this link.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Movember: Day 26

And now the end is near....just four more days of moustacheness to go before I can shave it off.

Please support prostate cancer research by sponsoring my disturbing moustache here.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Season 2010/2011: Match 9: Montrose v Whitehill Welfare

Montrose got back to winning ways yesterday with a 3-1 win over East of Scotland League side Whitehill Welfare.

The result wasn't anywhere as comfortable as the scoreline suggests, Montrose competing against 10 men from the 38th minute onwards and scoring two of their goals from the penalty spot.

It was a fast-paced game, but Montrose seemed to lack composure throughout, resorting to long punts up the pitch when their numerical advantage should have given them licence to pass the ball around and dictate the pace.

The home side were a goal down inside eight minutes, Daniele Giordano having a rush of blood to the head. The goalkeeper made a mess of a clearance, sending it straight to an unmarked midfielder on the edge of the box and watching helplessly as the ball was sent straight back over his head and into the empty net.

The goal was against the run of play, but Montrose struggled to come back from it. They evantually scored an equaliser when Tosh netted from the spot after he had been tripped in the box by Alan Cornet.

It was deja vu for Whitehill in the 38th minute when Tosh again scored from the spot, this time after Cornet had picked up his second yellow card for handball.

Playing against 10 men, Montrose should have dominated the second half, but it took them until the 75th minute to find the third goal that killed off this Scottish Cup Third Round tie, Gordon Pope volleying home from a Ross McCord corner.

All in all, it was a deserved win that was reached in a more roundabout fashion than was necessary. A couple of injury worries as well, Hugh Davidson again limping off injured in the first half and Giordano swapped for Sandy Wood 15 minutes from the end.

But we're into the Fourth round. Let's hope the draw brings Rangers to Links Park.

Man of the Match: A fast-paced match suited some of Montrose's more attack-minded players, including Aaron Sinclair, Martin Boyle (given a much-deserved starting place) and Paul Tosh. Stephen McNally was also a constant creative hub. But Ross McCord was at the heart of all of Montrose's attacking moves, and was unlucky not to score himself. The youngster is really growing in confidence and should have a good future ahead of him.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Movember: Day 20

At Eric's request - a Movember update. Please support prostate cancer research by sponsoring my facial hair growth at the Movember website.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Genius or Madness?

In this case - 75-year-old William Lyttle has been digging tunnels underneath his Hackney house for 40-odd years - I think the correct term is madness....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Movember: Day 11

Day 11 - at least it looks like I'm TRYING to grow a moustache now....

....please support prostate cancer research by sponsoring my pathetic moustache at the Movember website.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


If any of you odd denizens of the Blogosphere have nothing better to do tomorrow evening (Thursday November 11), you can see my televisual debut on BBC2 at 6pm, when the episode of Eggheads my colleagues and I filmed in January will be broadcast.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Read Or Dead Redemption

A brief overview of what I've been reading over the past few weeks:
New Moon - Stephenie Meyer
I thought that the second instalment of the Twilight saga was better than the first, with a greater range of characters and better development of the existing cast. Two down, two to go....
The Rum Diary - Hunter S. Thompson
Autobiographical novel of a young American journalist who moves to Puerto Rico for a life of work, rum, sex and brushes with the law. An early example of the grandfather of Gonzo at his best.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
The first novel of the Millennium trilogy. A wide-ranging novel of industrial espionage, a decades-old murder mystery case and a whole raft of misfits from the Swedish criminal classes. Almost worth the hype and enough to keep me hooked for the two sequels.
Moab Is My Washpot - Stephen Fry
Autobiography covering the first 20 years of Britain's favourite Oxbridge-educated, gay ex-convict TV presenter. Fry has no hesitation in exploring his many flaws, prime amongst them appearing to be kleptomania. An excellent read containing both humour and pathos.
Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer
The third part of the Twilight quadrilogy and my favourite so far. Much faster-paced than its two prequels, more action and less of Bella's previously incessant pining after Edward. Certain parts actually made me laugh out loud, but I'm not entirely sure they were meant to.
Hitman: My Real Life In The Cartoon World Of Professional Wrestling - Bret "The Hitman" Hart
Fantastic look at the real lives behind the curtain in the World of the WWF/WWE. It would be a cliche to say it was a "no holds barred" account of possibly the world's greatest wrestler's life, but Hart is quick to expose the faults of, amongst others, Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior. Humour, anger, despair and revenge all appear in a great read.
Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer
And we're done. A monster of a final instalment in the Twilight 'saga' brought most of the plotlines to a close, although I was a bit disappointed that it ended with a democratic stand-down rather than all-out supernatural warfare. Hopefully Meyer will leave it there....
On The Road - Jack Kerouac
I failed to see what all the fuss is about while reading the defining novel of the beat generation. To be honest, I found On The Road pretty dull, and wasn't inspired by either Sal Paradise or Dean Moriarty. A disappointment.
Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett
The third journey onto the Discworld, and much better than its predecessor The Light Fantastic. It was good to have a change of focus from Rincewind, the star of the first two books. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Season 2010/2011: Match 8: Montrose v Albion Rovers

There are some matches that defy all superlatives, about which it would be possible to wax lyrical for innumerable blog posts.

And there are others, like yesterday's Montrose vs Albion Rovers encounter, that are so forgettable that it's almost possible to actually forget you're at the football while you're watching them.

Yesterday's game was crap, and not just because Montrose slipped to their first defeat in seven games.

Albion scored twice in the first half, both times with the Montrose defence posted missing. The first was from former Montrose striker John Gemmell and the second from Robert Love.

Montrose had the best of the first half hour but couldn't put the ball into the net, then let their concentration slip in the closing 15 minutes of the first half.

They were better in a boring second half but struggled to create chances. The players can have no complaints as yet again they only looked like chasing the game after going behind.

I think I can understand Steven Tweed's rationale behind always starting Martin Boyle on the bench - the young lad has pace to burn and this becomes even more apparent when he's introduced as a second half substitute as others are flagging. But he always looks the most lively player when he comes on, and I think it's about time he was given a chance from the start against the....ahem...."less mobile" Paul Tosh.

Man of the Match: A poor collective performance and no really outstanding candidates. Ross McCord was involved in most of the things Montrose tried to do right, so I'll go with the wee ginger midfielder.

Celtic: Best Fans In The World

There are no depths too low for "The Greatest Fans In The World".

Click on the picture to make it bigger.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Movember: Day Five

Five days without shaving my upper lip and we're beginning to see some progress.

Not progress in the "straight out of a 1970s porn movie" way, but more like a 14-year-old boy trying to get served in an off licence.

Please support my pathetic facial hair-growing efforts by sponsoring me here - all money raised goes to prostate cancer research.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Death Of Print

I studied journalism at university, and between shorthand classes and tutorials on how to write quality news copy, we had numerous discussions over our four-year course debating the future of print journalism.
Broadly speaking, there were two camps - those who felt that print's days were numbered, and those who felt that so long as newspapers were cheap and disposable, they would remain a relevant medium.
Generally, I'm in the second group - newsprint's disposablity is its major draw. If you accidentally leave a newspaper on a train, get it soaked in a rain shower or drop it in the bath, you might be disappointed, but it's not the end of the world. You've lost something worth between 20p and £2.
Drop your Kindle in the bath or leave it on the train and, not only are you an idiot, but you're a few hundred quid worse off.
Ross Dawson expects the UK to be a newspaper-free zone by 2019.
Nine more years of print journalism? I don't see it.
Particularly at a local level, newspapers provide a vital service that hasn't yet been replicated online. While the majority of the population might have internet access, online news platforms don't yet have the same penetration that newspapers do. And people remain loathe to pay for online content.
Maybe I'm wrong, maybe the revolution will be over before I turn 40. The publishing company I work for now provides very few printed products, having moved largely to online delivery or electronic documents. But we're in a high-value niche market where clients are geared towards such methods.
I believe that newspapers will be around for another few decades at least.
Perhaps most importantly of all - you can't wrap your chips in an iPad and you can't dry out wet shoes with a rolled-up Kindle.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Movember: Day One

I don't often post extreme close-up pictures of myself here, but this one has a purpose.

It proves that I'm clean shaven today for the start of Movember.

For the whole of November I'll be growing a moustache to support prostate cancer research.

Prostate cancer kills one man every hour in the UK alone. So I'd be extremely grateful if you could support my fundraising efforts by donating whatever you can at:


I'll be posting regular photographic updates on here so you can keep track of my facial hair. As I've got the fresh face of a teenage boy, the results may be somewhere between comical and spectacular.